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Three on-the-job time saving tips


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Tick-tock, tick-tock. I don’t know about you but my entire day at work is ruled by the clock. Everything from the medication I give to the procedures my patients have to every ‘timed’ care event that we perform.

Everything in some way shape or form is on a ‘timer’.

Lately, my timing has been ‘off’. I can’t seem to get a leg up and stay ahead of the 8-ball. The other day I clamped an NG from wall suction after giving a med, and lets just say the tube remained clamped for the better part of my shift (thankfully it was only a couple of hours). I realized that looking up at the clock to see the time and calculating my next ‘event’ was just not cutting it. So here are 3 tips that I think are going to help me, and I thought I’d share them:

A Watch

Now, before you go poking fun. I’m not just talking about a standard time piece. I’m talking about a watch that has a timer, an alarm and possible a stop watch (if needed). I own one of the traditional ‘Ironman’ triathlon watches that has all the above. I’m starting to used the ‘timer’ more frequently, especially after the NG episode recently. Set your timer to whatever interval you need to remind you of your next ‘event’ (a timed med, unclamping a tube, your next blood sugar, etc.)

The IV Pump

Most IV pumps these days are quite advanced. I sometimes think they are a lil’ too much, but the advancement has definitely increased safety and decreased the likelihood of simple human error. This suggestion really doesn’t utilize those ‘advancements’. The next time you have a med to give, or a blood sugar to check (Q 1 hr. on Insulin gtts) set the volume of your infusion for one hour or whatever time you need. That way, in 1 hr., your IV pump will (annoyingly) alarm ‘low volume’ which will require your attention. You can reset the volume to the next desired interval to keep you on schedule.

A Smartphone

This last suggestion is only if you already own a smartphone. No need to go buying one just for this purpose. My iPhone and most smartphones have a pre-installed timer, alarm clock and stopwatch. If yours does not, there are million and one ‘apps’ you can download for free, or for a small fee. My iPhone is always on my hip now since I utilize it more for medication references as well as medication calculations (and just about everything else), so if I forget to wear my watch I utilize my phone. Heck, there are times when I use both my watch and my phone to help keep me ‘on time’.

Care to add any suggestions to this list? What do you use at work to keep you ‘on time’?

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